Return To Campus

When the Commonwealth allowed non-essential activities to re-open in a phased manner in the fall of 2020, some Harvard faculty and staff were advised that they should return to work on campus. Others have been working on campus all along, to provide essential services, or have been called back since then for required on-campus work. Some people will be called back to on-campus work in the months ahead, while others have been working remotely since the emergency began and will continue to do so at least until August 2, 2021. 

Maintaining a Safe and Healthy Workplace

Harvard has developed requirements for safe return to on-campus work, including evolving testing and tracing protocols.  All faculty and staff are expected to comply fully with these requirements, as well as related workplace policies, and any official Harvard public health or safety guidance.

We ask that everyone approach compliance with these requirements conscientiously, putting prevention and our responsibilities to each other first. Questions may be addressed to the local HR office. Please also consult Keep Harvard Healthy for updated information.

In circumstances where employees are in clear violation of these workplace policies, Harvard may revoke access to its campus or its buildings, and/or take other disciplinary actions. 

The following is a summary of key requirements for safely working on campus, including essential workers:

  • Before returning to work on campus, you must complete one of the required COVID-19 safety trainings from Harvard’s Environmental Health and Safety Department (on the Harvard Training Portal, Harvard Key required). Some work settings (e.g., clinical, laboratories) may have additional requirements for workers to help ensure their safety.
  • Vaccines are required for all Harvard community members, including faculty, staff and researchers, who will have any on-campus presence. Exceptions will be provided for medical or religious reasons. Note that unvaccinated people may be subject to additional public health measures (e.g., masking, testing) above and beyond what is required of vaccinated individuals. Updates and information regarding the University's vaccine requirement can be found at the University's vaccine webpage, and additional details will be provided when available.
  • You must adhere to University testing requirements.
  • Beginning May 29, 2021, we will no longer require daily Crimson Clear attestation for everyone coming to campus. However, you should complete Crimson Clear if you are concerned that you have been exposed to the coronavirus, have tested positive for the coronavirus, or are experiencing symptoms. Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) will then contact you to provide guidance and support. You may need to use Crimson Clear if you work in a setting that specifically requires it (e.g., a hospital-based research lab). Please note that the Massachusetts Department of Public Health still requires persons working in a healthcare setting to complete self-attestation every day they are on-site.  
  • Mandatory Reporting – Faculty and staff who are being tested for COVID-19 because of symptoms or known exposure, who are presumed to have COVID-19 and are awaiting test results, or who have received a positive test result for COVID-19, must notify HUHS at healthservices@huhs.harvard.edu, even if they do not receive their care from HUHS/HUGHP. This helps the University assess the impact on our community. 
  • All employees must follow current protocols for face coverings, depending on the work setting. Community members should have an acceptable face covering on their persons at all times when on campus.
  • When working on campus, you must follow protocols for social distancing. Those with an underlying health condition or concern may request a temporary job modification – a change in job duties, location, hours, etc. – by contacting University Disability Resources or local human resources. Or, they may formally request a disability accommodation online or by contacting local human resources.
  • Employees who have traveled out of state should consult and follow the University’s current post-travel policies. Employees routinely commuting to work from neighboring states in New England are not subject to these requirements every time they enter Massachusetts for work.

Faculty and staff who feel sick should stay home and notify their supervisor. Harvard’s temporary policies that allow for expanded and more flexible use of sick time by staff will remain in effect until December 31, 2021. Those with concerns or questions about their illness or seeking advice about whether to come to work are invited to email Harvard University Health Services.

In addition, employees should not come to work on campus in the following instances:

  1. Are instructed to refrain from attending work by Harvard University Health Services (HUHS), health care providers or public health officials.
  2. Are unable to obtain a Crimson Clear pass if you are required to use it in your work setting (e.g., hospital-based research lab) or because you are concerned that you have been exposed to the coronavirus, have tested positive for the coronavirus, or are experiencing symptoms and are awaiting clearance from HUHS.
  3. If you are caring for someone with a presumed or confirmed case of COVID-19, please refer to Harvard’s Contact Tracing page for information on reporting and coming to campus.

Managers and supervisors must not pressure employees to come to work if they are ill or need to stay at home to care for dependents. Conversely, if employees are well, they should not be pressured or encouraged to stay away from work for reasons such as their ethnic or racial background, home address or age.

Updated 6/4/2021